Shri Phadnis writes…
“Ref. 64. The lunar eclipse, if it took place, on 13th day after the solar eclipse had occurred well before the war started as Vyasa mentions it prior to war. On 17th day of war, it was an old story! It is just an Upama although a good one.
I have dealt with the various references which are strictly not astronomical like those from Karna-Krishna dialogue or from Vyasa-Dhritarashtra dialogue. All these are just Upamas. Some match some don’t. Makes no difference really.
Important point is that war started one month after Jyeshthaa Amavasya if you want an Amavasya. In any case it started after the so called second lunar eclipse, on 13th day after the solar one, since Vyasa, before war, has referred to it as an event already taken place. So all checking done by Shri. Oak taking Jyeshthaa Amavasya as first day, needs to be revised! ”
Corroboration of this reference for the 17th day of the war is not be confused with other astronomy references (e.g. multiple eclipses, eclipses separated by 13 days or types of eclipses)
This is critical to understand in order to maintain independence of each observation (each instance) for corroboration, otherwise non-scientific argumentative ‘Khichadi’ can occur in no time. In the language of DOE (Design of experiments) this can be termed as ‘balanced and orthogonal’ approach to testing of a theory.
This Mahabharata reference compares ‘return of joyful Yudhishthir, free from misery, back to the battlefield’ with that of ‘(full) moon becoming free from Rahu’.
This is the analogy on the 17th day of the War. Here is my original write up from my book, in corroborating this reference…
“Yudhishthir was injured on the battlefield, on the 17th day of War, and his protectors removed him from the battlefield. Expert medical practitioners removed the arrows from Yudhishthir’s body and in no time Yudhishthir was back on the battlefield.
Mahabharata author compares the return of joyous Yudhishthir, free from misery, with the full Moon freed from the torture of Rahu64, i.e. the full moon coming out of the lunar eclipse.
Mahabharata observer could witness the lunar eclipse on the 15th day of the War for some 90 minutes after the sunset. Although 90 min is sufficiently long time interval to notice an eclipse, it is also important to remember that objects below and close to the horizon can be seen due to refraction of light.”